Celebrating Holidays and Family Traditions During COVID-19

April 1, 2020

Nationwide attempts to reduce the impact of COVID-19 has changed the lives of Americans in many ways.  With many states practicing shelter-in-place and social distancing recommended nationwide, families will need to get creative to celebrate various religious and family holidays in April, including Easter, Passover, and the beginning of Ramadan. 

Family traditions and rituals provide a touchstone for comfort and security, because, for a lot of families, they are predictable and always the same.  The inability to practice time-honored traditions with loved ones may increase the already high levels of anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Almost all cultures celebrate special holidays with some form of ritual whether it’s a prayer, gift-giving, or games. And almost all of them include the sharing of food.

Here are some ideas to connect with family and friends and celebrate together:

  • Check out virtual services being offered by many religious institutions such as temples, churches and mosques, including via Facebook Live.
  • Order specialty foods online, or check with local grocery stores for delivery services.
  • Cook traditional foods for family members you share a household with.
  • Email favorite recipes and have each household cook a new dish at the same time via Zoom, Houseparty, FaceTime, etc.Eat together and enjoy a virtual meal.
  • Do a virtual Easter egg hunt or afikoman and have the children hunt for the eggs and matzo in different rooms via video conference.
  • Check out what your local organizations are doing to take holiday events virtual – Mill Valley Recreation for example is taking their annual Eggstravaganza online.
  • Research and try out new recipes or try out old family recipes you would have otherwise never had an opportunity to prepare before.
  • Donate to organizations that are supporting those in need during this time.

Religious and family traditions bind us together and help us stay connected to loved ones.  Focus on the positive during the upcoming holidays, and make the best of what is available and possible.

The April holidays during COVID-19 can still be a memorable time to honor and be thankful for the values of health, family, and the longer, brighter days of spring.